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Connect the Dots to Get the Whole Picture

Your dental health reflects your overall health

Proper daily dental hygiene habits can keep your whole body healthy.  The condition of the oral tissues in your mouth reflect your overall health. During an oral exam and cleaning your hygienist observes and records  the health of your gums. They look for tissue color, tightness, inflammation, and the general condition of the mouth. The goal is to keep your gums healthy to prevent the bacteria in your mouth from entering your bloodstream and doing damage. Routine visits to your hygienist for cleanings along with daily brushing and flossing at home keep the tissues in your mouth firm and able to fight infection. Healthy gums serve as a barrier to ward off infections that could start in your mouth.

Here are just some medical conditions that are affected by your dental health:

·         Heart disease:It has been proven that if bacteria from your mouth is allowed to travel through the blood to the heart it can cause heart disease. The bacteria in your blood system contributes to plaque buildup in your arterties, decreasing blood flow and increasing the risk of blood clots and/or a stroke.

·         Osteoporosis:Your teeth are supported by bone so during an oral exam your bone levels are measured. If the hygienist sees indications of bone loss it may be a sign that your body’s bone strength is at risk. Osteoporosis is a weaking of bone support in your body that can lead to brittle bones. This can cause significant pain and even broken bones.

·         Diabetes:When your gums are inflammed (redness and overgrown tissues) your body needs to work to fight the infection.  Diabetes makes it harder to fight infection. The disease slows your healing time and makes you more vunerable to foreign bodies such as bacteria entering the bloodstream. The resulting infections can lead to heart disease and stroke.

The list of other medical conditions connected to your dental health is long, including dry mouth, acid reflux, anorexia, autoimmune diseases and lung disease. During pregnancy dental health is extremely important to keep the gums healthy so they can do their job as a barrier to protect both the mother and her baby.

Together with your dental professionals you can work to maintain your oral health with a goal of improving your overall health. Remember, when it comes to your health, from the tip of your tongue to your toes it’s all connected.

Marlena, your hygienist






By contactus
April 24, 2012
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When you come in for your routine dental cleaning, our staff performs a simple oral screening by sight and touch as part of your dental exam. Our office is striving to make sure every patient is examined twice a year during dental cleaning appointments

April is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an appropriate time to share this message from The Oral Cancer Foundation: “We know that dentists and hygienists are not thought of by the public, and do not think of themselves, as people who engage in the saving of lives. After all, they are not ER doctors. But when either of these dental professionals finds an oral cancer in the course of their examinations, especially if at an early stage one or two, they have undoubtedly saved a life.”


Awareness of oral cancer among the American public is low. Statistics show that every day in the United States 100 people will be diagnosed with new cases of oral cancer. One person every hour of the day will die from oral cancer. People need to understand that oral cancer is not rare, and screening for it is as important as ever!


Please go to the link below to read more about The Oral Cancer Foundation.

By contactus
April 19, 2012
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The Tooth Fairy…a few suggestions.


Next to Santa or the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy may be children’s favorite nighttime visitor. The Tooth Fairy is an old myth with many versions ranging from a Tinkerbelle lookalike to a hockey player with wings.

The traditional Tooth Fairy tale was created to help parents comfort their children when they lost a tooth. Tears shed over a lost tooth dry quickly when a child learns they can trade in the tooth for treasure. Over the years, parents have taken liberty with the amount and type of gifts the Tooth Fairy leaves behind. Children in my dental chair report rewards from a quarter to $20 or more.

According to news reports, even the Tooth Fairy wasn’t immune to a tough economy. A story in the April 9 issue of Time magazine reveals that average per-tooth payouts by the Tooth Fairy in the U.S. dropped 17 percent last year to $2.10.




My favorite tooth fairy legend is that when the tooth fairy collects the tooth, she leaves the child a gold coin. This simplifies everything. All children get the same. The fun is receiving the gold coin, not the amount it is worth. With the high price of gold this may sound pricey but there is a simple, affordable solution thanks to the U.S. Mint: the Presidential $1 Coin collection coin. These coins look gold but are mostly copper and as you would suspect, you can get them for $1 apiece at your local bank.

Keep a few in your dresser drawer you can fund the Tooth Fairy’s work at a reasonable cost and always be prepared for an unexpected lost tooth.  The total cost to you is $1 per tooth, but your child gets a special gold coin and a start on a new coin collection. Everybody is happy.

But what about those times when a child’s tooth comes out but gets lost, leaving nothing to put under the pillow? Assure your children the Tooth Fairy always knows when a tooth comes out and there is no punishment for swallowing a tooth or unknowingly tossing it out with the trash. It does help the Tooth Fairy if she is provided a pillow or tooth box for the exchange.  It can be very upsetting for the child to wake up excited in the morning and not find the coin because the dog ate it or it fell under the bed.



       Tooth pillow by Lillian Rose, Inc                           Tooth Box by Ganz              


Have fun with the Tooth Fairy, the myth is yours to modify as one of the many joys of raising your child. And if your child has doubts about whether the Tooth Fairy is real, there is a solution for that, too. Go to and with a little magic you can create a photo of the Tooth Fairy visiting your child. Enjoy!





By contactus
April 11, 2012
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Help our staff protect your health.

A well-informed dental health professional is your best protection from complications during dental treatment. Think of your body as an expensive sports car. You want to be sure your mechanic understands how it is running before you let him work on it. That’s why we ask three questions before we look under your hood.                                                    

1. Do you have any existing medical conditions? Many medical conditions can affect your oral health. Once informed of your medical condition, our staff can determine the best choice of treatment for you. Whether you have diabetes, a heart condition or osteoporosis, all conditions need to be discussed during your dental exam for a complete dental visit.

2. Are you taking medications?A medication you take may affect your dental health or make it advisable to postpone your dental treatment. If informed, we can alter your treatment for you and prevent any medical complications. We can also provide advice for your personal homecare while taking the medication. It’s always helpful to bring a list of medications to your appointment.

3. Do you have any allergies?Knowing you have an allergy allows us to change our choice of dental products we use during your dental visit. If informed, we can avoid an allergic reaction.

A wallet sized card can save your life.

It is important that you keep your medical history card with you in your wallet at all times. Whether at a visit to the dentist, physician or during an emergency, it needs to be accessible. Your card should contain important medical information essential to safe and effective treatment by first responders. This information is valuable for emergency medical personnel if they need to treat you and find you alone and unconscious or confused. First responders recommend “The File of Life” card which is an emergency card to keep visible at your home. You can find it on the web at


Below are some Internet sites that have a medical history card to easily download. If you do not have a printer, Winchester Family Medical Center in Wilmington, has a paper card available in their lobby.

Medical card websites:





By contactus
April 04, 2012
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Today the entire staff participated in a CPR recertification class for health care workers. This is just part of our effort to be prepared for responding to any medical emergencies that may occur. Our office equipment includes an updated medical emergency kit and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator).


At Soper Family Dentistry we believe this kind of training and preparation is an important aspect of providing a safe environment for our patients.